Lyft drivers lawsuit may end without addressing worker reclassification

The judge has to decide on a settlement proposal submitted to the court

A lawsuit filed by drivers against Lyft may not address the key and contentious issue of whether the drivers should be reclassified as employees with all the attendant benefits.

The app-based ride hailing company is offering a US$12.25 million settlement fund, including attorney fees and other costs, besides non-monetary relief to the about 100,000 drivers, but will not be required to reclassify its drivers as employees.

Their classification as employees would raise costs for Lyft in terms of employee benefits as well as set a precedent for similar court disputes against on-demand companies, including one involving Uber Technologies that is playing out in a California court.

But drivers affiliated to the Teamsters Union are objecting to the settlement in the 2013 proposed class-action lawsuit, as they say it would continue to "misclassify" Lyft employees in California as independent contractors.

The settlement “will leave Lyft's business model intact, allowing Lyft to continue to treat its current and future drivers as independent contractors, and avoid properly paying them under California law,” said Rome Aloise, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7.

On Thursday, it appeared that District Judge Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, while unhappy with the amount of the settlement, will not address the issue of reclassification. The judge said the arguments from the Teamsters seem "best made to a legislature," according to Courthouse News Service. "The issue here is whether the law classifies these people as independent contractors or employees, not which would be better as a matter of policy," he said, according to CNS, which added that Chhabria did not rule from the bench on the proposed settlement.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer for the drivers, appears to have been hamstrung by a number of factors in negotiating a settlement with Lyft. For example, drivers who worked for Lyft since May 8, 2014, which are about 75 percent of all drivers are subject to an arbitration provision with an express class action waiver, while all other drivers are subject to an arbitration provision without an express class action waiver, according to the settlement document. There was also the risk of the court declining to certify a class.

The judge has to as yet give his preliminary approval for the settlement.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?